How Brendan Rodgers honed his talents under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea as Leicester boss prepares to face Blues in FA Cup final for a piece of history

Brendan Rodgers goes head-to-head with the club that sent him on the path to an FA Cup final.

The Leicester City boss faces Chelsea in the showpiece event – which you can listen to live on talkSPORT.


Jose Mourinho brought Brendan Rodgers to Chelsea in 2004[/caption]

Rodgers is bidding to win his first trophy in English football as he builds on the success he enjoyed at Celtic before re-joining the Premier League in 2019.

He’s got Leicester firing and will hope to finish in the top four this season, having just missed out last year following a slump in form after the restart to football in June amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A trophy would perhaps be just rewards for the 48-year-old, but he owes the club he’s facing quite a lot.


Rodgers spent four years at Chelsea before joining Watford as manager in 2008[/caption]

It was Jose Mourinho who convinced Rodgers to leave his role as Reading’s academy director in 2004.

He was appointed as head youth coach of Chelsea’s prestigious academy following Steve Clarke’s recommendation.

The Northern Irishman was subsequently promoted to reserve team boss two years later and kept that role even after Mourinho left.


Rodgers stayed on at Chelsea under Avram Grant and Luis Felipe Scolari after Mourinho left[/caption]

It was in 2008 that he left the Blues to take his first senior job when appointed by Watford who were in the Championship at the time.

Speaking in 2019, Rodgers said: ”I think Jose made a huge impression on me when I went to Chelsea. Along my journey I’ve had a lot of mentors. At Reading, Alan Pardew was great for me as a young coach. Then when I went to Chelsea, Jose made a huge impact around the preparation.

“That first spell when he was there he had great charisma, but he could manage that really well between the management, the coaching side and the detail of his work.


Mourinho made a huge impression on Rodgers and he know stands on the brink of winning Leicester their first FA Cup ever[/caption]

“We were never totally aligned in terms [of] the way we’d seen the game, but we had lots of similarities. We liked to communicate well with players and people, we were both ambitious—wanted to do well—and we always wanted to ensure our work had quality. He was a big reference for me.”

Mourinho could see the talents that Rodgers had and was not surprised to see him go on to have a managerial career that has taken him on to Reading, Swansea, Liverpool, Celtic and eventually Leicester.

Mourinho said last year: “I’m not impressed, I know how good he is. When I met him as a young coach in the academy, and coming to join us in the first team and sharing with us many moments, I understood that he was a young guy with a great future.


Mourinho was not surprised by how well Rodgers has done in his career[/caption]

“So anything he’s doing in his career is not a surprise for me, not at all. He’s very talented, he was and probably still is a guy who likes to study, learn and improve. He’s creative, he knows what he wants.

“He’s a very good coach. Period. He’s a very good coach so it’s not a surprise for me.”

Chelsea vs Leicester in the FA Cup final is live on talkSPORT from 5.15pm on Saturday 15 May

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